Arizona Governor Signs Bill Making Revenge Porn a Felony

May 2, 2014 7:15 AM PST

PHOENIX — Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a law making it a first time felony to post revenge porn photos online — one of the nation's toughest measures of its kind.

The law makes it a crime "to intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person … if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure."

Perpetrators of the crime could face a sentence of 18 months in prison, which could be bumped to 2.5 years if the person shown in the image can be recognized.

Arizona joins California, New Jersey, Georgia, Idaho, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin as states that have passed revenge porn laws.  

More that two dozen similar measures are being proposed nationwide. But according to Conference of State Legislators researcher Pam Greenberg, only Idaho makes it a felony for a first violation as Arizona does. The crime is a felony in Georgia and Utah only on the second offense.

Arizona state Representative J.D. Mesnard, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said the state needed the legislation to stem technology that’s used in a bad way.

"I believe the bill is going to do some good," Mesnard told Reuters. "It helps with this new form of wrong, with a new form of being able to harm people. It's sad we are being forced to do something like this."

Adult industry attorney Corey Silverstein will discuss “revenge porn” and its potential impact on commercial adult sites in June’s edition of XBIZ World.

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